INITIATIVE NEWS: “Don’t forget leprosy” campaign boosts messaging in the weeks around World Leprosy Day

Diversion of resources, movement restrictions, and other measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted leprosy services and increased burdens on already vulnerable persons affected by leprosy. In this context, the Sasakawa Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) Initiative implemented a 10-month campaign with the message “Don’t forget leprosy.” The campaign schedule gave special consideration to World Leprosy Day, which has been observed year on the last Sunday of January since 1954. In 2022, the last Sunday fell on Jan. 30. The Initiative supported 32 organizations NGOs, organizations of persons affected by leprosy, universities, medical associations, and other institutions — in 13 countries boost messaging in the weeks around this date.

Jan. 10-20
Centro de Medicina de Reabilitação da Região Centro – Rovisco Pais, Portugal
(Winning video)

Video contest organized based on the “Don’t forget leprosy” theme and winning video shared through social media on World Leprosy Day.

Jan. 25
Association Sénégalaise de Lutte Contre la Lepre et les Maladies Tropicales Négligées (ASCL/MTN), supported by German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (GLRA/DAHW), Senegal

Event held to launch the “Don’t forget leprosy” campaign in Senegal.

Jan. 27
Movimento de Reintegração das Pessoas Atingidas Pela Hanseníase (Morhan), Brazil

Health education and active search for new leprosy cases carried out at the Lessa de Andrade Polyclinic, located in the Madalena neighborhood of Recife, a large urban area in northeastern Brazil.

Jan. 27
St Joseph’s Leprosy Hospital, Father Muller Charitable Institutions, India

Guest lecture organized at Father Muller Medical College Hospital’s Decennial Memorial Hall in Mangalore, Karnataka, India, to commemorate World Leprosy Day.

Jan. 28
The Leprosy Mission International (TLMI), United Kingdom

Video created and spread widely through social media to raise awareness of the difficulties that persons affected by leprosy are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic to make sure no one is left behind.

Jan. 29-31
Eijkman Oxford Clinical Research Unit / University of Oxford, supported by Papua Health Research and Development Center, Ministry of Health, Indonesia

Photo exhibition “Stories from the Island” at the Balitbangkes Papua office, Jalan Ahmad Yani Jayapura, Indonesia.

Jan. 30
Advancing Leprosy and disadvantaged peoples Opportunities society (ALO), supported by The Leprosy Mission (TLM)-Bangladesh

Rally, discussion session, and distribution of blankets held at the Matiranga Upazila Health Complex in Bangladesh. Government officials participated in the events.

Feb. 3
The Leprosy Mission (TLM)-Nigeria

Road walk held to commemorate World Leprosy Day 2022. Flyers were distributed to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of leprosy.

Feb. 6
Acworth Leprosy Hospital Society for Research, Rehabilitation & Education in Leprosy, India

Leprosy awareness program organized in Panvel, Maharashtra, India, to share information about leprosy with civil society.

Feb. 7
Association of People Affected by Leprosy (APAL), India

Awareness-raising activity conducted in collaboration with Priyanshi Educational, Cultural & Social Society (PECSS) at Government Post Graduate (PG) Girls College of Bheelpura Panchayat in Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh. A quiz on leprosy was given and the winner was awarded a prize.

Feb. 9
PerMaTa South Sulawesi, supported by Yayasan Dedikasi Tjipta Indonesia (YDTI)

Appearance on Indonesian television by WHO Goodwill Ambassador Yohei Sasakawa along with three other spokespeople to appeal for wider understanding of leprosy and related issues. Watch recording.

Feb. 14
Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF), India

Street play organized in Belanki village, Sangli, to bring awareness towards persons affected by leprosy in India.

Feb. 15
Atma Swabhiman, India

Outreach to students and administrators at three government high schools in the city of Dhanbad, India. Information on leprosy disseminated for wider awareness, acceptance, and public support for persons affected by leprosy.

Feb. 16-17
Uganda National Alliance against Leprosy (UNALEP), supported by German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (GLRA/DAHW), Uganda

Sensitization meetings held in Karambi and Maliba Sub-Counties in Uganda.

Feb. 20
Purple Hope Initiative Nigeria (pHIN), supported by German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association (GLRA), Nigeria

Radio broadcast from RADIO ONE 103.5 FM LAGOS in Nigeria to talk about leprosy and the “Don’t forget leprosy” campaign.

Feb. 25
Greater Tenali Leprosy Treatment and Education Scheme Society (GRETNALTES), India 

Leprosy awareness rally conducted with the National Cadet Corps (NCC) students at Tenali in Andhra Pradesh, India.